CHROMATIC FLIGHT

CHAMBER MUSIC
Graham Jesse
CHROMATIC FLIGHT (Move) ★★★★

When was the last time you mentioned Bach, Telemann, Don Burrows and Chick Corea in the same breath? Odds on it’s never. But for veteran Australian performer, arranger, producer and composer Graham Jesse, they are all facets of the inspiration for Chromatic Flight, his new project for piano and flute. Interpreted and performed by the masterful Virginia Taylor (flute) and Simon Tedeschi (piano), the album is made up of two neatly defined halves. The first is a series of six programmatic vignettes, each embodying its title exactly as promised. Flutter features a flutter-tongue flute motif, Waves ebbs and flows in a graceful triple time, and the title track is indeed a flurry of semitones. Here is where the baroque and classical influences reside most securely, and yet the harmony is always more progressive than those composers ever dreamed of. The second half consists of two flute suites: one Latin, the other jazzy. Both are delightfully jaunty, but never cocky – sounding strangely effortless despite their energetic syncopation. If Chromatic Flight has an overarching flaw, it is that it’s over too soon: a deeper dive into those image-laden motifs and rambling jazz melodies would have been more than welcome.

-JESSIE CUNNIFFE

(The Age)